Day two of the Republican convention was a success. The first speaker I saw was Tiffany Trump. I read somewhere that Tiffany was the weak link in the family, I guess because she is Marla Maples’ daughter. In fact, she was great–a 22-year-old (or so) graduate of Penn, she was cool as a cucumber, and her speech was terrific. My wife, whose emotional intelligence is superior to mine, pointed out that Tiffany told the sorts of personal anecdotes that warm peoples’ attitudes toward Donald, and that Melania didn’t. It was a remarkable performance by an intelligent and poised young Republican.
She was followed by Chris Christie. Christie has taken a fair amount of abuse lately, but he is a formidable guy. Let me put it this way: for four decades, I was a litigator. I spent years of my life in court, tried over 100 jury cases, took thousands of depositions and argued hundreds if not thousands of motions. And I would not have liked to go up against Chris Christie. He is very, very good.
Christie put Hillary Clinton on trial. Maybe there was a teleprompter somewhere, but Christie wasn’t using it. He was on a roll, indicting Hillary for one failure, disaster or lie after another. The convention audience pronounced her guilty, bringing to mind the old Doonesbury cartoon:
Christie’s indictment was overwhelming, so Democratic commentators no doubt scrambled to term his speech dark, overly intense, too negative, and so on. I just hope millions were watching.
After Christie, Donald Trump Jr. took the stage. He spoke longer than his sister Tiffany, and was more nervous. But he did a very good job. He portrayed his father as a sort of blue-collar hero, and pointed out that Hillary Clinton is the first presidential candidate who couldn’t pass a background check. (That is true, actually, not hyperbole.) The Fox commentators thought Trump Jr. was dynamite; I wasn’t quite that impressed by him, but no doubt he moved the ball forward for the GOP.
Ben Carson wrapped up the evening, but by the time he took the stage delegates were on their way out to enjoy, I guess, the pleasures of Cleveland’s night life. Dr. Carson did fine, I think, but I confess that I started this post before he was done.
It was a good night, because of the combination of Christie’s fiery denunciation of the eminently vulnerable Hillary and two very good appearances by members of the Trump family. Maybe liberals will be able to find words in Donald Jr’s speech that were previously uttered by a Democrat: “a,” “the,” “and,” who knows. But I doubt that they will be able to blunt the positive effect of the evening’s festivities.
A key goal of the convention is to unite the Republican Party behind Donald Trump. Trump wasn’t my first choice for the nomination, or my second or fifth, or tenth. I labored pretty hard to help others get the nomination. But Trump was, obviously, the story of the election season. He may be an imperfect vessel, but he speaks powerfully to a great many Americans. For myself, I am feeling unified behind the nominee these days.